Smith Receives Green Blazer Award

Leonard Smith, of Hawthorne Pacific Corp., received the Green Blazer Award from the Toro Co. for his accomplishments in equipment sales. The award is given to a sales representative who has a minimum of three years’ experience selling Toro products, and recognizes individuals who are contributing to the industry and bringing enhanced knowledge to their customers.

Wright Names Sales Rep of the Year

Wright Mfg. presented its Sales Representative of the Year Award to John Franke of PACE, Inc. PACE, based in Plymouth, Mich., earned Wright’s Market Expansion Award and Sales Representative of the Year Award in 2007 and was Wright’s 2006 and 2008 Distributor of the Year.

Above left: From left, Will Wolverton; Bryan Wood; Nancy Russell, Commercial Turf &Tractor; Steve Russell, Commercial Turf & Tractor; Jurgen Wiedenmann; and Mike Colgan,Commercial Turf & Tractor.Above right: Al Hicks.

Wiedenmann Honors Salesman, Dealer of the Year

At Wiedenmann North America, LLC’s annual Dealer Appreciation Meeting, Will Wolverton, general manager, and Jurgen Wiedenmann, owner, presented awards. Al Hicks, territory manager for ShowTurf, was the 2008 Salesman of the Year. The 2008 Dealer of the Year was Commercial Turf & Tractor, Chillicothe, Miss., owned and operated by Bryan Wood.

Swingle Helps Promote Awareness of Child Abuse

Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care helped install a giant blue ribbon on the 7News building in Denver, Colo., to create awareness of the issue of child abuse and neglect. The Kempe Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect partnered with Colorado’s business, government and community leaders for the “Get Your Blue On” campaign as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Husqvarna Integrates RedMax Division

The RedMax organization of Husqvarna became part of Husqvarna Professional Products, Inc., which is headed by Dave Zerfoss and also includes the Husqvarna, Yazoo Kees, Dixon and BlueBird brands. The integration of RedMax will create additional operational efficiencies for Husqvarna and create value for its customers through improved customer support and service.

The company will continue to have separate dealer and distributor sales forces for individual brands, but with an integrated leadership approach.

Stens donated an ambulanceto Mercy & Sharing.
Richard Vega moves boulders with his Kioti DK45 tractor.

Stens Donates Ambulance

Stens donated an ambulance to Mercy & Sharing, an organization dedicated to helping feed, educate and provide medical care for children and widows in Haiti. Mark Salter, the Stens vendor who approached the company about the donation, is the program director of Mercy & Sharing.

Gordon Joins New Hunter Division

Kevin Gordon has assumed the role of sales and marketing manager for the FX Luminaire division of Hunter Industries. Previously, Gordon was Hunter’s California regional sales manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado.

Vega Wins Kioti Success Story Contest

Kioti Tractor announced Richard Vega, Lake George, N.Y., as the winner of its 2008 National Success Stories Contest. It was conducted online through to collect customer stories about how they use their Kioti tractors. One winner was chosen every month, and those winners became eligible for the grand prize. Vega, who owns Adirondack Furniture Designs, received a $1,500 gift card.

Satoshi Iida

New President for Kubota Tractor

Kubota Corp. named Satoshi Iida as the new president of Kubota Tractor Corp., Torrance, Calif. Iida, who has a Ph.D. in mechanical and systems engineering, has been with Kubota for 29 years and served in the company’s engineering, utility tractor and construction equipment divisions. Previously, he was president of Kubota Europe in France. He succeeds Tetsuji “Mike” Tomita, who was named president of the farm and industrial machinery consolidated division and general manager of international operations headquarters.

First Products Redesigns Web Site

First Products launched a new Web site at, redesigned to make it easier for customers and dealers to interact with the company online. Visitors can now go straight to equipment options for individual industries, including downloadable spec sheets and mini brochures, as well as multiple product images. The “order tines” form and parts book are now under “Customer Tools.”

Aurora Offers Drawing Library

Aurora Bearing Co., Montgomery, Ill., has made its complete engineering drawing library available as individual, downloadable drawings at its Web site,, and on its free product catalog CD. These technically correct drawings are compatible with all popular engineering drawing programs.

New Hires at Maruyama

Maruyama has appointed Jay Larsen to the position of technical sales support manager. Previously, he worked for Shindaiwa, Inc. as a technical services representative for 11 years and, since 2001, as marketing manager for North America. He is a graduate of Clatsop College.

Carmelo Grenier was hired as the company’s new distribution market development manager for North America. He comes to Maruyama from Shindaiwa, where he was North American sales manager.

Pete Fernald was appointed to the position of technical services manager. He has a degree in industrial education and served as Shindaiwa’s director of technical services and training for 28 years.

GIE+EXPO Workshop Schedule Announced

The workshops at the 2009 GIE+EXPO provide an introduction to the Professional Landcare Network’s four-day Green Industry Conference education program. This year they will include “Selling the Experience” with Jim Paluch, “Egg-Sucking Dogs” with Charles Vander Kooi and “Developing a High-Performance Team” with Bill Arman. For more information, call 800-558-8767 or visit

Personnel Changes at Hannay

Hannay Reels announced that Sales Manager Dave Guilzon has retired after 39 years of service. He served in the position of sales manager for more than 12 years. Guilzon was succeeded by Denis Bleile, who has over 25 years’ experience in the industrial sector.

Skid Steer Smackdown Returns

John Deere posted the first episode of “Battle in Bowling Green” on its Web site. Real contractors pit competitor equipment against John Deere skid steers in a hill-climbing contest in Bowling Green, Ky. It is one of numerous battles in the Ultimate Skid Steer Smackdown’s season two “Prove It Tour.”

Rain Bird Accepting Film Competition Entries

Rain Bird Corp. is accepting entries for the 2009 Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition. It is open to all narrative, documentary, animated or experimental short films that explore methods and ideas to responsibly manage and use water. A new Green Industry Award category has been added, in addition to the Jury Award and Audience Choice Award. Entries must be received by August 15, 2009. For more information, visit

Morbark Holds Demo Days

Morbark, Inc. held its third Demo Days event at its headquarters in Winn, Mich. The event included extensive factory tours, informational seminars, equipment demonstrations and networking opportunities.

Ewing Diversifies, Adds Sales Staff

Ewing Irrigation Products has added a new hardscape division. Bruce Basehore will serve as national product manager for hardscape and geo supply. Previously, he worked for Rockwood Retaining Walls.

As a turf products specialist, Larry Kaiser will provide agronomic support to northern California in the areas of fertilizer, seed, chemicals and erosion control products. He comes to Ewing from Pacific Sod.

Another new turf products specialist, Andrew Keeton, will serve turf and landscape professionals in Georgia and assist customers in Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida. Previously, he worked for Advanced Nurseries.

Network of Stores Carrying Converted Organics Grows

Converted Organics, Inc. has added 24 new lawn and garden centers to the network of retail outlets currently carrying the company’s all-natural organic fertilizer products. They include Adams Fairacre Farm, Lake Katrine, N.Y.; Arnold Feed & Garden Center, New Kensington, Pa.; Amity Garden Center, Bethany, Conn.; Ayd Hardware, Baltimore, Md.; Beardsley Gardens, Sharon, Conn.; The Country Farmer, North Salem, N.Y.; Corrado’s Garden Center, Clifton, N.J.; Dandelion Acres WS, Bethel, Vt.; Gardens of Babylon, Nashville, Tenn.; GRDN, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Knollwood Garden Center, Beavercreek, Ohio; Mackey’s, Willimantic, Conn.; Mohawk Gardens, Inc., Sparta, N.J.; Nielson Florist & Garden, Darien, Conn.; Oz Hardware & Home, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Parker Wholesale Florist, Scotch Plains, N.J.; Primex Garden Center, Glenside, Pa.; Williams Home Centers, Rhinebeck, N.Y.; American Plant Food, Bethesda, Md.; Binghamton (N.Y.) Agway; Southold (N.Y.) Agway; Spotts, Inc., Medford, N.J.; Thompson Ridge Gardens, Bullville, N.Y.; and Petitti Enterprises, Oakwood Village, Ohio. A store locator is available at